Mir-1B 37mm F2.8 M42 Lens Review

This is one of the legendary Russian lenses. Made on the base of Flektogon but tweaked by the Russians this lens and other Russian lenses issued in 1958 were awarded in Brussels Show with the prestigious "Grand Prix" award. On the other side Mir-1B has very controversial state among photographers. One awe it, others hate it. The lens by itself is very well build. All metal finish, quality paint and robust construction. Image quality is great. The lens produces very snappy colors with great contrast. Wide open its sharpness is acceptable on but 5.6 and onward Mir becomes tack sharp. Bokeh is a little harsh in the highlights but it is a least of concern. Chromatic aberrations are very low to none but the lens easy catches flares so hood usage is recommended. As Flektogon derivate there is no distortion. The lens is ideal for shooting architecture. Mir is a great performer as a macro lens with extension tubes. To keep front protruded lens element clear from scratches and dust it is best to use UV filter. Mir-1b is small almost pocket size. This lens is one small Russian jewel that has an irreplaceable place in my photo bag.

(Written by Sqwall


Mir-1B 37mm f2.8 Related resources:



Fact Sheet

Vendor nameTypeProduct year
KMZ M42x1 1958-onward
Focal Min(mm)Focal Max(mm)Focus Min(cm)
37.38 37.38 70
Aperture MaxAperture Min.Barrel length(mm)
2.8 16 56
Elements In GroupDiaphragm actionWeight (g)
6 in 5 Manual Preset / Auto 200
Filter Size (mm)Push on diameter (mm)Angular field
49 - - 60


User Comments

Please share your experience with us!

Comments (3)
Mir-1b 2,8/37
3Thursday, 06 October 2011 11:26
This lens is one of my favourites. I have the flektogon 35mm as well. My copy is tack sharp fully open. I use it for macro on extension tubes. It has a lovely character and perfect bokeh.
MIR 37mm f2.8
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 02:29
I have a copy in Leica Screw Mount from the early Russian SLRs. You can read my thoughts here: http://snapshotvoyager.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-weirdest-lens-mir-37mm-f28-in-leica.html
2Friday, 04 June 2010 20:14
I quite agree with you. I have one and I think it is my best lens. The total absence of distortion is astonishing and it is really sharp It is also remarkable for its versatility: you set it for the hyperfocal an you can forget of focusing: perfect for street photography.
Mir-1b 2,8/37
1Monday, 26 April 2010 14:32
I just received my lens Mir-1b 2.8 / 37. I bought it on E-bay for 40 €.

My first test was disappointing, until I produces a small lens hood. It costs me a piece of cardboard packaging, a piece of adhésive tape and 5 minutes of work. The result has shown surprising. My lens was suddenly dropped from the category "poor" to category "excellent".

On my Pentax ist DL, the Mir-1b is equivalent to a 55.5 mm 24x36. It will be an excellent "normal" lens for me.
lens hood
Thursday, 27 May 2010 11:57
hi bilciv,
I just bought a Mir-1b from ebay as well. Could you please tell how large did you cut the cardboard in order to build your lens hood?

Thank you in advance.

Add your comment

Your name: